Table of Contents
Hear a child who does not speak
― “Why is he frowning? Maybe a bright light is bothering him?”
― “We need to wrap the baby warmer! He’s probably cold – he’s been naughty all evening.”
― “And he’s crying again… He’s probably hungry… or maybe he’s ill.”
Which of the young parents did not happen to get into such situations, when the whole family is trying to figure out what is happening with the baby and how he feels? Often the actions of adults have an effect that is exactly the opposite of what is expected. This happens only because they misinterpreted the behavior of the baby, signaling a particular problem.
Meanwhile, to see the signal given by the child in time and to understand it correctly is one of the most important conditions for natural education.
“Catch and respond to your baby’s signs,” write Sears in their book “The Baby Book“, wanting to share their experience with all parents who need it.
How to know if your child is tired
With age, the signals given by the child become more eloquent, but the needs multiply and become more complex over time.
In the first months of life, the key to the emotional and social development of the baby is mainly close contact with the mother and other adults who take him in his arms and take care of him. However, closer to the year, the little one learns the world around him so actively that he can independently engage in something interesting for him for some time. For example, studying bright pictures in a book or driving a new car. Features of the child’s psyche are such that it is difficult for a child to concentrate on any activity for a long time. Vivid impressions experienced throughout the day tire even a three-year-old child. Is it worth talking about kids who are not even a year old! Periodically, a small explorer needs a temporary respite – for example, daytime sleep.
Without realizing it, tired children give adults quite distinct signals that vary depending on the age of the child.
Baby from birth to a year
A healthy and well-feeling newborn baby most often has no sleep problems. The baby just falls asleep when it sees fit. However, older peanuts often have time to be so tired by the time of laying down that … they cannot fall asleep. Yes, yes, such cases are not rare in the practice of young mothers! If the precious moment when it is time for the baby to go to bed is missed, severe fatigue can lead to nervous overexcitation. It affects the child’s behavior like an energy drink affects an adult: he becomes irritable and restless, but no less tired.
Here are the main signs that it’s time for your baby to rest:
- the desire to bow the head to an adult and cling to him more tightly.
- causeless whims;
- distracted look and lack of attention to others;
- sudden bouts of tearfulness;
- twitching or scratching of the ears;
- search for the mother’s breast;
- grasping and throwing the offered breast, offended crying.
Tired baby from one to three years old
It is simply amazing how a child who has crossed the age limit of the first year of life differs from a baby who is only a few months younger. The signs that tired toddlers give to adults are broadly similar to the behavior of babies in a similar situation. But at the same time, they are much more diverse and eloquent in comparison with the “body language” of crumbs who have not reached the age of one:
- the baby loses interest in the game, becomes passive;
- irritability and tearfulness appear;
- the child is unable to concentrate on anything. He can pick up toys one after another, not detaining attention on any of them for more than a few seconds, and even throwing them in a fit of irritation;
- impaired coordination of movements and fine motor skills – the baby often falls when walking, bumps into objects and people around him; drops small objects, trying to keep them in the pen;
- the baby vigorously rubs his ears, sometimes scratching them to the point of blood;
- the child may be unnaturally excited and cheerful – he runs and jumps, screams and laughs, but this fun has a somewhat hysterical connotation and at any moment can turn into a fit of anger or crying;
- if the child is still breastfed, he begins to aggressively demand the breast.
This is not a complete list of examples of child behavior that indicate fatigue. It is not at all excluded that there are own tools used by each individual kid as a signal that it’s time to babble. Like, for example, a two-year-old girl who did not wait for the traditional bedtime on New Year’s Eve: after a fun fuss, she simply defiantly settled down for the night, hugging a pillow on the kitchen floor, wrapping herself in a bedspread.
Knowing and recognizing the signs of childhood fatigue will come in handy during the transition of an adult child from two daily naps to one. To choose the right moment and make the transition as gently as possible, only patient and close attention to the behavior of a son or daughter will help parents.
What to do if the child is tired?
Having noticed the first signs of fatigue, one should not wait until all the others appear – it will be much more difficult to lay down a raging toddler. It is best to take him in your arms and start the usual preparation for sleep. For some, this is a curtained window and quiet music, for someone – a mother’s breast and a lullaby. In this case, all means are good if they are familiar and create a comfortable atmosphere for the child to relax.
If the little one is tired after an emotionally intense day, but it’s still too early to sleep, you can just spend some time with him. Following simple rules helps to relax and relieve the emotional stress of the child:
- turn on quiet calm music (in this case it is good to have a selection specially designed for evening listening);
- take the baby in your arms and talk to him quietly or read a familiar fairy tale;
- use the elements of a soothing massage – stroking the back, arms and legs of the crumbs.
And one more important tip:
To be successful in putting your baby to bed without problems, start preparing for this at least an hour before the required time. Exclude outdoor games, visits from guests, loud music and cartoons from the program. Give preference to quiet activities and a warm bath.